Coming Down

They gave me these.

And I cried. Many times.

I will never have a daughter, but I think I might have just been given a taste of what it is like to be the mother of a bride.

I was asked back in the fall to help with the Prom. By the kids. And when sweet angel babies ask for help, I turn to mush. I was called crazy and insane for volunteering for the job, and I know why....now.

I haven't slept in weeks. To-do lists have run through my head like movie reels, and panic attacks have been spurred on by neurotic DJ nightmares and discussions (*ahem, fights*) over budgets. My hair will glisten with glitter for a week, and I will be okay if I don't have to touch a strand of Christmas lights for...well, ever again. I haven't seen my own kids in 2 days, and I have seen enough tulle and gossamer to do me for a lifetime.

But I wouldn't trade those minutes and hours for anything.

I have worked with teenagers for a long time, but never in my life have I met a group of kids as great as these. The core group was small (very small!), and we saw each other through mountains of drama, laughter, and tears. There were times we thought we just couldn't make it another day, and times we couldn't stand to be in the same room with each other.

To a lot of people (maybe some of you reading this) there are thoughts of "What's the big deal? It was just Prom." But to these kids, it was so much more than "just Prom." It was months of hard work, dedication, perseverance, and overcoming ridiculous obstacles to make their dreams come true. They were told they couldn't do it, but they did! They have endured a lot of negative energy, but they shrugged their shoulders at it (and had a few words to say, too!) and went on!

Last night, I cried for a long time. I'm sure it was a bizarre combination of sheer exhaustion and nostalgia, but my heart smiled for these kids. I watched as they laughed with their friends and snuggled with their dates. The girls twirled in their Cinderella dresses, and the boys tried to pretend like their shiny shoes weren't killing their feet. They danced and giggled and smiled.

And I stood back and took it all in, realizing how incredibly lucky I am. There are a lot of adults who are cynical about kids these days. And though I'll be a first-hand witness that it many times is a reasonable assumption and often warranted, I have been blessed with an amazing gift. I had the chance to see great kids make great big dreams come true. And they invited me to join the party. They trusted me enough to help them make it happen.

Come Monday morning, Prom will begin to fade from their memories. Routine will set back in, and the excitement about Spring Break will take over. It will be back to homework and ball games and monotony. I'll be able to sleep again, and my dining room table will lose its permanent centerpiece of Stumps catalogs. But I have a feeling that we'll be a little different. The kind of different that comes with great success and the formation of significant bonds.


So I cried.

And cried.

And cried.

Because they make me happy.

And because the only thing there last night that was more beautiful than my precious roses....

was them.

That's me with the Prom Committee (minus one....early exit).


The Bowden's said...

Aw, sounds like fun! Seems like forever since mine. Glad you had a good time nonetheless! :)

Carpoolqueen said...

You will have a lasting impact on those kids!!!

Alison said...

I thought about you all weekend and wondered how you faired the madhouse. Decorations looked beautiful! And looks like you pulled off a good one! I'm sure they all had a blast.

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

I bet part of their prom memory will be YOU and your love for them. This was a really sweet post, Amber. And everything looks BEAUTIFUL!

Jim said...

Way to go, girl! I knew you could do it, even amid all of the apprehension and second guessing I know must have gone on in your head. I'm proud of both you and your Sis for the way you face the tests and come out better than I could ever have done. We prayed for you. We love you.

Kendra said...

It looked beautiful! What a lot of hard work you did. You should be proud, and I hope you took Kirk and got in a dance or two.